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The ‘purple heart’ problem


The abuse of amphetamine-barbiturate mixtures by doctor and patient has increased, is increasing and ought to be diminished. The Government has introduced the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Bill which is concerned with one aspect of this - the so-called ‘purple heart’ problem. Evidence has only recently become available that such a mixture really has effects different from those of its constituents taken singly1. With 15 mg of amphetamine and 300 mg of cyclobarbitone psychic energy is increased, drowsiness is reduced and the human subject, if he resembles the rat, probably becomes less inhibited in social situations.

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